From the Executive Director features news and reflections on the work of PHMC by its chief administrator.

This issue of Pennsylvania Heritage includes the new format of the Pennsylvania Heritage Society’s quarterly newsletter. If you’re an individual or family member of the Pennsylvania Heritage Society, you’ll undoubtedly appreciate the many interesting programs available to you with free or discounted admissions. If you’re not a member, I hope you will consider joining to take advantage of the many exciting benefits of this statewide membership organization.

Membership in the Pennsylvania Heritage Society has never been more important. The newsletter’s revamped calendar of events for the historic sites and museums that make up the Pennsylvania Trail of History®, administered by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC), is organized so that you can find ways to become involved in history, whether it’s through summer camps for children at historic sites, lectures and workshops on fascinating topics, or the new planetarium show at The State Museum of Pennsylvania. Summer is a great time to get out and explore. You might take a walk down memory lane with historic farming exhibits at the Somerset Historical Center or the Landis Valley Museum. Rediscover the thrill of locomotives at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania. Try orienteering as a twenty-first-century pioneer on the extensive grounds of the Daniel Boone Homestead. Explore your family history at the Pennsylvania State Archives or at a local historical society. Visit one of the Keystone State’s many historic communities that exude the charm and character of yesteryear. Pause to read one of out two thousand state historical markers or access your favorites by visiting the award-winning on the Web.

Exploration is part of our Pennsylvania heritage. This issue features an article on the history of Bradford, McKean County, and its role in the development of the oil industry. Today, the community claims the oldest continuously operating oil refinery in the world. Nearby, you can visit the PHMC’s Drake Well Museum and Park in Titusville, where Edwin L. Drake successfully drilled oil in 1859, and Pithole City, a boom town that quickly went bust.

Gasoline prices may be on the rise, but there’s a lot to see and enjoy in your own backyard, here in Pennsylvania. Jim McClelland’s article on Philadelphia’s fountains suggests some great walking tours of a city that rivals Rome as the “City of Fountains.” PHMC staffer Rich Saylor provides insight into the baseball career of John Kinley Tener, governor of Pennsylvania from 1911 to 1915.

This summer is an opportunity to learn more about Pennsylvania – and can help you find your way!

Barbara Franco
Executive Director, PHMC